Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Favorite Firefox Add-Ons

I'll admit it, I am a Firefox junkie. Although I do use IE occasionally, Firefox is use for all of my regular browsing. I also have Opera Browser installed. I really don't use it, but I do like the interface. One of the main reasons I won't switch is because I like my Firefox Add-Ons so much.

I'll give a quick rundown of the add-ons that I must have. There are actually not that many that I use. My preferences over time have changed, but the functionality these tools provide really help enhance my browsing experience.

I guess the easiest way to go through this is list each add-on one by one. I'll just work my way down the list one by one.

First, and probably most important, is FoxyProxy. This is a simple proxy selector that sits in the bottom right of Firefox. It is very powerful, but I only use it in a very simple regard. I couple this with Hamachi and FreeProxy. This setup encrypts my internet browsing traffic between my laptop and my desktop computer where it actually is sent out unencrypted. This is especially useful here on campus because to get Vista on the wireless, the connection is unencrypted because of incompatibilities.

Next on the list is IE Tab that simply makes a tab in Firefox use Internet Explorer. This is especially useful when visiting website that don't render properly in Firefox. (The Speed School of Engineering official website comes to mind.) You can see the difference between having the Firefox engine and the IE engine running in the below screen capture.

This is probably my favorite of all of my add-ons I use. PermaTabs can freeze Firefox tabs so they can not be closed and are there when it launches. I have three tabs that are ALWAYS open. They are Yahoo Mail, Digg, and Facebook. I know it would be simple just to leave them open, but having them this way assures they will not get mixed in with all of my other tabs that always seem to pile up.

Moving down this list we come to the sad story of how Vista has affected my life. TabEffect is a simple little add-on that performs a 3D spin effect every time you switch tabs. There was really no actual usefulness in this add-on, it just looked great. I actually had a few people ask how I was making the tabs in Firefox do that and pointed them toward this add-on. The problem under Vista is that the effect flashes a white screen after the tab rotates. It was just annoying enough for me to disable the add-on, but I can't bring myself to remove it.

Next on the list is Talkback. Nothing major to see here so I'll move on to the last item on the list.

I was a very frequent user of Yahoo! Toolbar at one time. I have since used it less and less. I could probably get away without using it but all of my old bookmarks are stored in Yahoo! Bookmarks and it is still nice to have those. I sometimes click the Yahoo! Mail button at the top if I need to reload the Yahoo! Mail page, but other than that it goes unused. I don't even need it for the search bar because Firefox has one built in that has even more features that Yahoo!'s.

My favorite add-on is definitely PermaTab. It has really changed the way I browse the internet. I'm a little more efficient and I definitely frequent my email, Digg, and Facebook more than I should, but I'm not hurting anyone.

I really need to search for some more add-ons that will help enhance my browser even more! (I promise you that is not as lame as it sounds... maybe it was just a little lame. Compared to the fact I wrote this entire blog entry about add-ons, it definitely wasn't lame.)


Travis said...

Someday you will be converted to gmail.

Mark my words!

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

What's gmail?

Unknown said...

C said...

Ok. I really like the little tab effect thingy. Just to let you know. Now I just have to actually start using multiple tabs...

Oh and I have an account on here too?????

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